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Brooklyn Museum of Science and Art to Include Labs, Adult Ed and Atrium

By Meredith Hoffman | February 14, 2013 2:30pm

GREENPOINT — An ambitious group of architects, scientists, parents and artists foresee a new leaf turning in 2019 — an unprecedented blend of creativity, research and public space swinging open in their neighborhood.

Plans for the Brooklyn Museum of Art and Science — an idea conceived this fall by local non-profit leader Susan Anderson — are quickly taking shape, organizers said, noting that their slated 100,000-square-foot center would include exhibits and classes for residents of all ages.

"Greenpoint is a really diverse place with a lot of families but also young creative professionals and we want to make sure it's not just a kids' museum," said architect Darrick Borowski, who hopes to help design the space, which has not yet been identified. "It'll be one part a traditional museum of exhibits and events, one part for research...and one part a public space."

The "research" component would include science labs, artist studios and rooms with cooking and robotics classes, he said, and the "public space" would be a large covered atrium.

"We've been spending time thinking about what makes this different from other museums out there," Borowski said. "It's not just a science or art museum, and it's not just crafty exhibits for kids explaining science. It's scientists and artists coming up with ideas and exploring issues together."

Borowski said the museum, which would also include an environmental focus, will hopefully receive money from Greenpoint's $19M Environmental Benefits Program, funds for the community to compensate for Exxon Mobil's oil spill into Newtown Creek.

"We plan to apply for funding [from the program]," Borowski said. "We'll need more sources than just that but it will hopefully get us off the ground."

But while Borowski, Anderson and other residents have rapidly mobilized to plan the project, they expect the museum will take another six years to open in its permanent home.

Meanwhile, the group will station "pop-up" exhibits at different neighborhood spots, they said.

"The ideas of inquiry and imagination are both a way to understand our world," Borowski said of science's and art's methods. "There's been an artificial line drawn between them and we're trying to reconnect it."

For continued updates on the Brooklyn Science and Art Museum, and to get involved, visit the group's Facebook page.